RĀTAPU Rima Tere: Review mirror

Oh hai, it's me after all. I felt so guilty for not doing a Fast Five that here is, Sunday Fast Five inspired by some great reviews I've read lately. Reviews are also on my mind due my own recent writing and a general perceived lack of robust critique that has echoed through me from many corners in the last couple of weeks. It's also something that I'll be exploring more fully as part of our ETHICS theme. (Also, terrible pun but it's Sunday morning and I'm time-poor.)

1. Solange at the Guggenheim

This is a really evocatively written account of Solange's museum tour performance at the Guggenheim. I feel that the author has captured well how the performance was carried out to the point where I almost feel present. This review was a little different in the way it recounted the performance as it looked at it through the lens of choreographer Trisha Brown's work, an approach that I also appreciated as it highlights another perspective through which to interrogate the work.

2. Vive Arte Viva at the Venice Biennale

To be completely honest, I haven't read any of the many reviews that have come out of the Biennale apart from this one about the exhibition in the Arsenale space. And it is very frank. Given the aims of the exhibition to highlight underrepresented narratives and how the reviewer perceives these to have failed those narratives, it's a highly valid piece. This is a well-rounded and robust critique that speaks directly to the artworks featured and the curatorial intent.

3. Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

I've said this about the Costume Institute fashion exhibitions and I'll say it about the V&A: I'll never not be jealous of how completely these institutions are able to exhibit textiles. This review about the forthcoming Balenciaga exhibition is insightful and interesting, not only for the curatorial intent but also for how Cristobal Balenciaga himself worked. Bringing his craft into the modern day fast fashion landscape is particularly poignant and continues to echo the arguments set out in Li Edelkoort's "Anti_Fashion Manifesto". The review aspects of this piece sit mainly in how the writer forecasts how the audience will take the show so I would love to see an update once the show opens.

4. AWF2017 (mainly here for the Roxane Gay)

I didn't actually make it to the Auckland Writers Festival as it's in Auckland and I'm too disorganised. But this rolling commentary has been really beneficial as I've been able to sneak peeks of some of the sessions. Again this is less of a review and more a recounting of what the author saw. If you know whether or not any of these sessions were recorded, I'd love to know. I particularly care about the Roxane Gay sessions and Tina Makereti's lecture.

5. Comedy Fest

Only made it along to one of the shows in this year's festival (Fricken Dangerous Bro, marry me Pax!) but it's great to see how well-established the culture of review is in the comedy circuit (something that I have also noticed about theatre). The Spinoff has had a constant stream of reviews come out and I appreciate Sam Brooks' ability to be so concise in his reviews given how much he manages to say. The plethora of reviews meant that I read two very different takes on the same, Rose Matafeo, show. This one from Sam Brooks for The Spinoff and this one by Brian Ng for the NBR (WTF?! I know. WTF?!).

These differing perspectives recalls something I heard in an artists' panel at the opening for the new suite of exhibitions at Pātaka yesterday. Teacher and dancer Tupe Lualua spoke about how it wasn't important if people liked or didn't like your art, it was important that they heard the stories within. As a mini review: Tupe spoke many more truth bombs which I really loved hearing in the gallery context, and the dancers she works with were so supremely talented. 

Have a great final day of weekend.